Book Review: Les Misérables

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wrote this review on Goodreads, only seconds, after I finished the novel.

I find my heart still abodes inside these pages, not yet unattached from Marius, Cosette, and Jean Valjean; I continue, even now, walking the streets of nineteenth century Paris, exploring that great city of light, watching carriages clatter over bridges crossing the Seine, listening to a thousand church bells serenade the night’s sky.

Les Miserables is long, but your commitment to this long-drawn-out masterpiece will be rewarded. Some books are like lovers never forgotten. When we remember time spent together, we can, again, feel their warmth.

This novel is without a doubt the best book I have ever read; Les Miserables, I have decided, is my stranded island book. Inside these pages is all the wisdom a person will ever need: there is religion, philosophy, love, etcetera. There is all of life encompassed.

I recommend this edition, which I am happy to say I bought in Paris, at Shakespeare and Company—the bookshop across the bridge from Notre Dame Cathedral.

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A note to my readers: I am still finding my niche with this blog. I have grown as an artist, a person, and a man over the last year. Sharing writing tips and short book reviews, has made me very happy. I am learning as I go what works and what does not regarding content. Obviously, I want to get to the place where I share, more often, my own prose, and with each new day, I grow in confidence; I am closer.

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I wanted to add to this post a personal anecdote: 2020, was the year I got serious about writing. I returned to college at thirty to study the craft, and I will complete my degree this December, 2021. My blog, sadly, does not usually get the same attention I give my prose. This brings me to something of a new year’s resolution: To share with you my writing projects, in addition to what I learn in lecture. I want you, my readers, to be a part of my growth. This for me is a brave resolution; my great next step.

I, also, understand the need to build around me a strong writing community, knowledgable artists that can be trusted, friends and colleagues to share in honing our crafts. But I have a confession: I am terrified. Over the last two years, like a pendulum, I have swung from Mr. Extravert, well past Mr. Introvert, and I am now, a full blown recluse stuck to one side of the clock. Can anyone relate? I am considering pursuing an MFA, because a writing community is built organically. I even have the schools I like mapped out; It is down to three: Emerson College, University of Southern Maine, and New England College. I like them because of their localities, and flexible low-residency/online programs. I am a stay-at-home dad, traditional settings cannot work for me.

It helps that I know, personally, a couple great writers, but I am too shy to reach out and seek collaboration. When I muster the necessary courage, those familiar fears of inadequacy and inconvenience envelope my whole person, and I hide. For now, I will kick that ball down the road. Again. This is a major cause of anxiety: I feel I need to be great, before I can get help.

I will admit, separating myself from the outside world has given me the agency to pursue my dreams. I feel, after a terribly difficult journey, I can see the summit that so long alluded me. I grow everyday, because of the long hours spent improving my craft. And I am grateful for you, the readers, my amazing followers, whom have joined my journey. I ask for your prayers.

Thank you for reading the whole post. It helps to let my thoughts run their course. Please Like & Share my blog post. God bless you all.

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